Recent developments in Washington relating to Ukraine and the Middle East remind me that there is a big difference between maintaining secrecy when a situation warrants it and lying over issues where there is no compelling reason to do so beyond political expediency. Having spent more than twenty years in American intelligence agencies where secrecy was the operative norm, I would illustrate that difference as follows: a legitimate secret would be something like not revealing information that would place people or vital national interests in jeopardy, while a lie would be committing a crime and fabricating a narrative that would deny or obfuscate that anything dire had actually taken place. When it comes to lying, I am, of course, referring to the bizarre behavior by the United States government, most particularly ever since 9/11, to commit war crimes and then come up with reasons for its foreign and national security policies to have taken a singular aggressive and coercive turn not justified by reality or by any real threat. That shift in behavior has had a profoundly negative consequence, with much of the world now inclined to identify the United States as the most dangerous country globally speaking in terms of being the greatest threat to peace among nations.
One might reasonably award the gold medal for creative destruction in that light to the Administration of George W. Bush, which elevated lying to a level hitherto hardly imagined in Washington. Bush had a neocon dominated foreign policy team, concentrated in the Pentagon with Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Doug Feith and with Scooter Libby in the Vice President’s office, which did not hesitate to stovepipe fabricated information through the system to justify a totally fraudulent war against Iraq. The conspirators, most of whom were Jews who had close ties to the Israeli government, were supportive of the Jewish state’s desire to have the US attack Baghdad. They were joined in their drive to war by a hapless Secretary of State Colin Powell, a woefully ignorant National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and a ruthlessly ambitious George Tenet at CIA to go along for the ride. Within that context, what the president of the United States actually thought, if he was thinking at all, remains unknowable. The result was the catastrophe of Iraq, with hundreds of thousands of dead civilians over a totally invented threat of “weapons of mass destruction” in the hands of Saddam Hussein. Currently, twenty years after the event, Washington still has soldiers in Iraq even though the Iraqi parliament has repeatedly asked them to leave.
Interestingly, however, what played out under George Bush was child’s play compared to the contemporary political environment where the media has joined the Joe Biden Administration in lying about nearly everything. This has included an act of war committed against both a nuclear armed adversary and an ally in the form of the destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline, which was clearly carried out by the United States against Russia and Germany after Biden even incoherently warned publicly that he would do it. Since investigative journalist Seymour Hersh blew the lid off the story, the US and its captive media have responded by helping to float a completely implausible alternative tale of how it may have been accomplished by a handful of rogue Ukrainians operating off a fishing boat. Russian attempts to get the incident investigated by the United Nations and/or the International Criminal Court (ICC) have been successfully blocked by the US, which has in response supported a British jurist’s successful attempt to get the Russians themselves investigated for war crimes by the ICC.
In the latest edition of lies and more lies, the US is hanging out to dry a twenty-one year old Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira whom it is charging with stealing and making public on an internet chat room highly classified national security related information. The airman might indeed be guilty of having done just that though his motive continues to be elusive and his actual ability to access some of the material he obtained is questionable. More to the point, however, is the back story, which is that the documents reveal that the Ukrainians are clearly losing the war against Russia, prompting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to seek both NATO membership and newer longer-range weapons so he can hit Russia directly and hard enough to bring the US and NATO directly and fully into the conflict. The recent possible attempt to kill Vladimir Putin using a drone may be part of such planning and, if it had come closer to being successful, the Russian overwhelming response would likely have escalated the conflict to produce a disaster of possibly global proportions.
The leaked intelligence suggests that Ukraine will not be able to defend its airspace at all after this month and will also soon be running out of ammunition. These “facts” were known to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin when he testified several weeks ago that the Kiev was winning its war against Moscow. Biden, for his part re the conduct of the war, has continued to deny that US soldiers are “boots on the ground” engaged in Ukraine. The leaked documents demonstrate that he is also either lying or poorly informed about that. The only intelligence item that seems to reflect some measure of acknowledgeable truth is the information indicating that there is no intention on the part of Washington to take steps to initiate peace talks to put an end to the fighting in 2023. That is clearly what the White House wants going into the 2024 elections, where Joe Biden or whoever succeeds him will want to look like a “war president,” a vigilant defender of the United States to appeal to voters.
From the viewpoint of a tax paying American citizen, the fact that the US Treasury has given or promised well in excess of $100 billion to a hopelessly corrupt Ukrainian government to oppose a nuclear-armed Russia that did not threaten the United States in any way prior to the fighting breaking out last February should be significant. And what happened to the so-called War Powers Act requiring Congress to make a declaration of war? So where is the upside of all of this for the American people?
And there’s more. There is also the recent revelation, also from Sy Hersh, that Volodymyr Zelensky and his gang of crooks have stolen $400 million from the cash provided by the Biden Administration to buy diesel fuel for the Ukrainian Army. The fraud was discovered by the CIA, whose Director William Burns actually personally confronted Zelensky with the numbers and names of those involved in January. Zelensky and his profiteers carried out their project by obtaining the money from the United States Treasury at the US petrodollar rate per gallon plus shipping costs before turning around and buying the fuel from cheaper suppliers located regionally, including the Lukoil Neftohim Burgas refinery located in Bulgaria. The difference then disappeared into the pockets of Zelensky and his generals. And where did the less expensive fuel come from? Mostly from Russia and also from Iran!
To be sure there has been some pushback from a small group of mostly Republican congressmen. Matt Gaetz has introduced a bill in the House of Representatives requiring the White House to provide full information, to include “copies of any and all documents outlining plans for military assistance to Ukraine. Additionally, the resolution directs Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to disclose the number of United States Armed Forces, including special operators, deployed to Ukraine without Congressional authority. The Biden Administration and other allied countries have been misleading the world on the state of the war in Ukraine. There must be total transparency from this administration to the American people when they are gambling war with a nuclear adversary by having special forces operating in Ukraine.”
Maverick GOP Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene also got into it with her GOP colleagues after she praised the alleged leaker of the Pentagon documents due to his exposure of the lies surrounding the Ukraine war. She said “Jack Teixeira is white, male, Christian, and antiwar. That makes him an enemy to the Biden regime. And he told the truth about troops being on the ground in Ukraine and a lot more. Ask yourself who is the real enemy?” Senator Lindsey Graham as well as the Republican Party leadership immediately jumped on Greene, denouncing her for being against the war. Graham, who recently advocated invading Mexico to solve America’s drug problem, in particular dubbed her response “one of the most irresponsible statements she could make,” adding that it would “destroy America’s ability to defend itself.”
Former CIA Director John Brennan also denounced Greene’s comments, declaring that “From my perspective, I think Marjorie Taylor Greene has demonstrated time and time again that she’s not fit to hold public office…” Recall for a moment that Brennan was himself one of the most disastrous CIA Directors to ever hold office. He advocated torture of “terrorists” by the Agency as well as “signature” drone strikes to kill suspects on the ground in the Middle East and Asia. He collaborated with efforts to derail the Donald Trump campaign and signed on to a letter in October 2020 claiming that Trump’s re-election campaign might well be benefitting from a Russian disinformation operation, an initiative that may have influenced the election outcome. On one occasion, after a Trump meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018, Brennan observed that “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of ‘treasonous.’ Not only were Trump’s comments ‘imbecilic,’ he is wholly in the pocket of Putin.”
The exchanges with the GOP as well as from nearly all Democrats serve as one more indication that the problem with the United States government is systemic: going to war while also denigrating critics and then lying about it all to avoid a perceived problem is always the preferred option for both the White House and Congress. No matter who wins in 2024, with the possible exceptions of Robert Kennedy Jr. or Tulsi Gabbard, the outcome in terms of a fractured and incoherent foreign policy that actually itself threatens the United States at every level will be roughly the same.